‘Higher’: Michael Bublé breathes new life into his musical style in the 1st album in 3 years

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Michel Buble

Regarding the work required to produce his records, Michael Bublé, always meticulous in his profession, ensures that it is at the top.

But for his upcoming 11th studio album, “Higher,” the Canadian musical artist has given up some creative control and opened himself up to new collaborators and experiences that could potentially add another dimension to his sound. And he’s glad he did. The result, he said, is a collection of “fresh” and “ambitious” songs that will take listeners on an “unexpected journey”.

“Before I made this record, my musical director, Alan Chang, said to me, ‘Hey, Mike, you’ve been making records for 20 years. You’ve sold a lot of records. People love records… So this wouldn’t be not interesting not to hold it [the next album] so close and not micromanage, and just let these people help you, so that it’s a new sound for the public? ” Michael told a recent virtual conference organized by Warner Music Philippines for the Southeast Asian entertainment press.

Although he admitted the suggestion hurt him “a little” at first, he remained receptive. The star crooner, who is known for his easy-listening love ballads, catchy jazz tunes and renditions of standards, threw caution to the wind and “put it in the hands of some of the greatest musicians in the world.” the universe”.

Let go

And he “has never been so excited to finish an album.”

“I let myself go… And honestly, it was the best thing I could do, because it not only breathed fresh new life into the style of my music, it made it fresh for me,” Michael said. “I think they (listeners) are going to feel the joy and the excitement…I was so open to working with new people and trying different things.”

‘Higher’, out March 25, is Michael’s first studio album since 2018’s ‘Love’, and is produced by Greg Wells and Bob Rock, along with Alan Chang, Jason Goldman and Sir Paul McCartney. The tracklist includes a duet with Willie Nelson on the song “Crazy”, renditions of McCartney’s “My Valentine” and Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love”.

The first single, meanwhile, is the self-penned “I’ll Never Not Love You,” the music video for which is a sequel to his 2009 song “Haven’t Met You Yet.”

“Whether it’s writing with Ryan Tedder and Greg Wells; recording three songs in one day with my buddy Bob Rock with 40 of the most amazing musicians in the studio who hadn’t played music in the last 15 months; dancing laughing and crying in my underwear in my home studio when a song rang true – every moment was magical or felt like the universe was conspiring to bring me to this moment, 20 years after this started amazing adventure I’ve been on” he said.

Michel Buble

Michel Buble

Living in the Moment

He couldn’t quite explain it, he said, but it just…worked. “I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but the concepts came together. The execution just worked out and I’m going to try as best I can to live in the moment,” the 46-year-old singer-songwriter said.

During the interview, Michael previewed three tracks from the album. But that was only scratching the surface. “You ain’t heard nothing yet…I’m not kidding…There’s so much more on this record and I could talk to you all day about it. But the proof will be in the pudding. I promise you will be amazed by the texture. I was ambitious,” he said.

Excerpts from the interview:

On her debut single, “I’ll Never Love You”:

It’s about promising someone that they can trust you, give you their vulnerability, that you won’t hurt them, that they can be reassured that they are sure to fall in love. Because it’s scary to fall in love. Love has a great price, especially when you really love someone; you put yourself in danger. And the song says, risk it on me and I’ll love you forever.

The music video for “I’ll Never Not Love You” would be the sequel to that of “Haven’t Met You Yet”. What made you decide it was finally the right time for a follow up, why didn’t you do it sooner?

I don’t think I chose that. I think he chose me. And I think the truth is, we’ve all been through a pandemic when it was hard to make music. And then before that, I had to go through, you know, with my son, just take care of my family. (Her eldest son, Noah, had to undergo chemotherapy after being diagnosed with liver cancer. He is now fully recovered.)

The truth is, when I released my last album “Love”, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to come back. I was still in pain. But now I feel so good. I’m so good in my heart and content to feel so open, so happy to make hopeful and beautiful music, and I felt I needed it. I feel like the world needed it somehow.

What’s it like doing a duet with Willie Nelson? Why did you choose “My Valentine” among the many songs by Paul McCartney?

Willie Nelson was one of my favorite singers. And one of my favorite Great American Songbook records was “Stardust.” And when I think of Willie Nelson, I think of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. I think of the great interpreters and singers who are able to personify us. To be honest, he always reminded me more of Louis Armstrong, because he had such a distinct and unique voice… He tells the story with emotion… It was an honor.

“My Valentine” didn’t just make me cover a Sir Paul McCartney song. He produced it for me. Knowing that someone I admire so much trusted me to hold their art and perform a song that means so much to them. [means a lot to me]. He wrote it for his wife. He told me so many times that it was something so special for him and that it was an honor and a privilege for him to take me under his wing… That’s why “My Valentine” was so important to me.

How special is this project considering it’s your first album after more than three years and in the midst of a pandemic?

They are all special. I promise you that no note that left my lips has ever escaped without thought or passion. They are all important. These are all my babies. The pandemic, in a weird way, made it a little easier for me to connect with people, because people were willing to make Zoom calls. And all of a sudden I was introduced to people I had never worked with before.

I found that a lot of the record was made with me, walking around the house with my kids, singing along. The idea for the song “Higher” came from my 8 year old son while I was bathing my kids in the shower. (He had two more children with his wife, Luisana Lopilato: Elias, 6, Vida, 3. A fourth is on the way.)

On how his outlook on life and music has changed amid the pandemic:

Perspective is everything. What I found interesting was that when the pandemic hit… I felt like every person in every country – it didn’t matter if you were young, old, rich, poor, gay, straight, black, white – were all scared and anxious. Our mental health has become a problem.

And I just felt like… we had to hold on to each other for hope… There’s so much negativity and so much that separates us, and I was really hoping that I could be a small part to bring the people together. people.

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